Temples and stupas in Laos

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Temples and stupas in Laos

Postby Kim OHara » Sat Oct 20, 2012 12:46 am

I have started to post on Flickr pictures of temples, stupas and other religious locations that I saw in Laos.
The first group are all from Vientiane, the capital.
1. The Golden Stupa http://www.flickr.com/photos/50030099@N04/8104033315/
It is a symbol of both the religion and the nation, but it has had a difficult history. Originally constructed on the site in the 16th century when Vientiane became the capital, it has been destroyed and rebuilt a few times. The current is due to the French, who dismantled ruins and rebuilt them in the 1930s. Two large wats are beside it, one of which is the base of the 'Supreme Patriarch of Lao Buddhism' (quoting Lonely Planet here).
2. Wat Sisaket claims to be the only wat in Vientiane surviving in its original form, all the others having been destroyed in one war or another. It was built in the 1820s and partially restored in the 1930s. Hall http://www.flickr.com/photos/50030099@N04/8104048600/; cloister http://www.flickr.com/photos/50030099@N04/8104048520/; Buddha statues in the cloister http://www.flickr.com/photos/50030099@N04/8104048662/; monks' quarters (I think) http://www.flickr.com/photos/50030099@N04/8104033403/.
3. Black Stupa, not so significant but I sort of liked it http://www.flickr.com/photos/50030099@N04/8104033275/

More to come ...

:namaste:
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Re: Temples and stupas in Laos

Postby mikenz66 » Sat Oct 20, 2012 1:32 am

Thanks for the pictures, Kim. It brings back some nice memories. We visited Vientiane back in April 2007 when visiting friends in the Nong Kai area of Thailand. As I recall we got drenched by a thunderstorm, and, it being Songkran, also by the usual water throwing...

Vientiane was to me like one of those science-fiction parallel universe places. The writing is similar to Thai, but obviously different if you have any familiarity with Thai script. And you see a lot of Chinese signs and products... The language is similar but different, and they drive on the other side of the road...

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Re: Temples and stupas in Laos

Postby Ben » Sat Oct 20, 2012 1:43 am

Thanks Kim!
It brings back memories of Myanmar, though the pagodas there are of a different design.
with metta,

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Re: Temples and stupas in Laos

Postby David N. Snyder » Sat Oct 20, 2012 1:59 am

Great photos! Thanks. That's a beautiful temple / pagoda at the capitol!

mikenz66 wrote:and they drive on the other side of the road...


You mean the "Right" side, as in the correct side? :tongue:
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Re: Temples and stupas in Laos

Postby mikenz66 » Sat Oct 20, 2012 2:02 am

David N. Snyder wrote:Great photos! Thanks. That's a beautiful temple / pagoda at the capitol!

mikenz66 wrote:and they drive on the other side of the road...


You mean the "Right" side, as in the correct side? :tongue:

The other side from Thailand... :sage:

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Re: Temples and stupas in Laos

Postby tiltbillings » Sat Oct 20, 2012 3:28 am

http://www.directpictures.com/dharma_director.html

The video advertised here is quite lovely, looking at Thai, Burmese and Laotian Buddhist temples along the major rivers. The Lao style is different from both the more familiar Burmese and Thai. It is really quite wonderful.
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Re: Temples and stupas in Laos

Postby Kim OHara » Sat Oct 20, 2012 4:51 am

tiltbillings wrote:http://www.directpictures.com/dharma_director.html

The video advertised here is quite lovely, looking at Thai, Burmese and Laotian Buddhist temples along the major rivers. The Lao style is different from both the more familiar Burmese and Thai. It is really quite wonderful.

Glad you are enjoying the tour. More styles to come, not all of them beautiful.
This one is lovely, though: Wat Xieng Thong, one of the oldest wats in Luang Prabang, a city which seems to have far more wats per person than it really needs - possibly because it used to be the capital city.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/50030099@N04/sets/72157631809596363/ takes you to the index page of the set. The photos show the sim, which apparently dates from 1560; a gong inside it; a decorated doorway; a reclining Buddha in a small chapel in the spacious grounds; and coloured-mirror mosaic on the outside of one of the buildings.

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Re: Temples and stupas in Laos

Postby yawares » Mon Oct 22, 2012 3:13 pm

Kim O'Hara wrote:I have started to post on Flickr pictures of temples, stupas and other religious locations that I saw in Laos.
The first group are all from Vientiane, the capital.
1. The Golden Stupa http://www.flickr.com/photos/50030099@N04/8104033315/
It is a symbol of both the religion and the nation, but it has had a difficult history. Originally constructed on the site in the 16th century when Vientiane became the capital, it has been destroyed and rebuilt a few times. The current is due to the French, who dismantled ruins and rebuilt them in the 1930s. Two large wats are beside it, one of which is the base of the 'Supreme Patriarch of Lao Buddhism' (quoting Lonely Planet here).
2. Wat Sisaket claims to be the only wat in Vientiane surviving in its original form, all the others having been destroyed in one war or another. It was built in the 1820s and partially restored in the 1930s. Hall http://www.flickr.com/photos/50030099@N04/8104048600/; cloister http://www.flickr.com/photos/50030099@N04/8104048520/; Buddha statues in the cloister http://www.flickr.com/photos/50030099@N04/8104048662/; monks' quarters (I think) http://www.flickr.com/photos/50030099@N04/8104033403/.
3. Black Stupa, not so significant but I sort of liked it http://www.flickr.com/photos/50030099@N04/8104033275/

More to come ...

:namaste:
Kim

Dear Kim,

Love love every pictures....so exotic...if I knew that you would go to Laos.....I would beg you to find out the truth about THE NAREE-POL TREE (the tree that has girl-shape fruits).

:heart: Thanks for your lovely pictures! :heart:
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Temples and stupas in Laos

Postby GraemeR » Tue Oct 23, 2012 1:03 am

Kim O'Hara wrote:I have started to post on Flickr pictures of temples, stupas and other religious locations that I saw in Laos.
The first group are all from Vientiane, the capital.
1. The Golden Stupa http://www.flickr.com/photos/50030099@N04/8104033315/
It is a symbol of both the religion and the nation, but it has had a difficult history. Originally constructed on the site in the 16th century when Vientiane became the capital, it has been destroyed and rebuilt a few times. The current is due to the French, who dismantled ruins and rebuilt them in the 1930s. Two large wats are beside it, one of which is the base of the 'Supreme Patriarch of Lao Buddhism' (quoting Lonely Planet here).
2. Wat Sisaket claims to be the only wat in Vientiane surviving in its original form, all the others having been destroyed in one war or another. It was built in the 1820s and partially restored in the 1930s. Hall http://www.flickr.com/photos/50030099@N04/8104048600/; cloister http://www.flickr.com/photos/50030099@N04/8104048520/; Buddha statues in the cloister http://www.flickr.com/photos/50030099@N04/8104048662/; monks' quarters (I think) http://www.flickr.com/photos/50030099@N04/8104033403/.
3. Black Stupa, not so significant but I sort of liked it http://www.flickr.com/photos/50030099@N04/8104033275/

More to come ...

:namaste:
Kim


Kim,
Have you seen the temple of the Emerald Buddha? It was in Laos before it was taken to Bangkok.

And shssss we mustn't mention to Yawares who destroyed the temples in Laos .... :o

I'll try and find some photos, but they aren't on this computer.

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Re: Temples and stupas in Laos

Postby yawares » Tue Oct 23, 2012 1:45 am

GraemeR wrote:
Kim O'Hara wrote:I have started to post on Flickr pictures of temples, stupas and other religious locations that I saw in Laos.
:namaste:
Kim


Kim,
Have you seen the temple of the Emerald Buddha? It was in Laos before it was taken to Bangkok.

And shssss we mustn't mention to Yawares who destroyed the temples in Laos .... :o
I'll try and find some photos, but they aren't on this computer.

Graham

Dear Graham,

Oh..so funny..ha ha :jumping: yawares never destroyed anything :thinking:

yawares :smile:
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Re: Temples and stupas in Laos

Postby yawares » Tue Oct 23, 2012 5:50 pm

Dear Kim,

Laos is so close..borderline with Thailand, but I've never been there..even Thai Inter Airways didn't fly to Laos when I worked...after seeing your pictures...I searched and found beautiful Laos ladies with national costumes:

http://images.search.yahoo.com/search/i ... gac&sado=1

Miss Laos (I'm so surprised I can understand Laos language !!!)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eonbv4Op_cY

Boat Festival
http://images.search.yahoo.com/search/i ... gac&sado=1

yawares :smile:
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Temples and stupas in Laos

Postby GraemeR » Wed Oct 24, 2012 7:09 am

yawares wrote:Dear Graham,

Oh..so funny..ha ha :jumping: yawares never destroyed anything :thinking:

yawares :smile:


Hi Yawares,

Don't worry I don't blame you but when you go there, the information in the temples says, 'destroyed by enemy action' but they don't mention Thailand :)

Laos is interesting, some important temples have been made into museums, but many are still open.

School uniform is often traditional dress and many people still wear it. :clap:

The language and writing is quite similar to Thai and people are very friendly.

In Thailand people are often not very good at talking to foreigners, too shy, or they try to put any foreign word they know into Thai sentences to make it impossible to understand. :shrug: But Lao people were much easier to talk to either in English or Thai. :clap: Sorry it's true.

Still not found my photos ...

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Re: Temples and stupas in Laos

Postby Kim OHara » Wed Oct 24, 2012 10:41 am

Thanks for nudging me to look up the history of the Emerald Buddha. I seemed to come across 'Emerald Buddha' temples everywhere I went, but I never quite got the history straight. These three sites filled in the gaps:
http://www.bangkokmag.infothai.com/emeraldhistory.htm short and simple
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emerald_Buddha more detailed
http://www.hawaii.edu/cseas/pubs/explore/eric.html long and a bit academic

They all agree on some basics: that the statue was first reliably recorded in what is now northern Thailand (Chiang Rai and Chiang Mai) about 1436, was taken to Luang Prabang about 1550 by a king who ruled both countries, and then to Vientiane where it stayed for a couple of centuries. Then a Thai general seized it in 1778 and took it to Thonburi. He became King Rama I soon afterwards and built its present temple in Bangkok a few years later.

I saw Pha Kaeo in Vientiane, very close to Wat Sisaket. It was built specifically to house the Emerald Buddha but it is now a museum of Buddhist art. Quite a beautiful building but I didn't take many photos.
I went to Luang Prabang a few days later. I didn't see where the Emerald Buddha had been housed but I knew it had been in the city. Then the last long stop on my holiday was Chiang Mai, and I did visit Wat Chedi Luang where the statue had been housed early in its Thai history. And of course I flew out through Bangkok, where I had seen the Emerald Buddha on a previous trip. No wonder I thought I was coming across it everywhere!

:namaste:
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Re: Temples and stupas in Laos

Postby yawares » Wed Oct 24, 2012 12:22 pm

GraemeR wrote:
yawares wrote:
In Thailand people are often not very good at talking to foreigners, too shy, or they try to put any foreign word they know into Thai sentences to make it impossible to understand. :shrug: But Lao people were much easier to talk to either in English or Thai. :clap: Sorry it's true.

Still not found my photos ...

Graham

Dear Graham/family,

Because you live in Rayong far from Bangkok(8 hrs driving), people there are shy...but in Bangkok/Thonburi almost everybody can speak English even salespeople at the market/department stores..nope..not shy at all...friendly ? YES!

I like your new family picture..your kids are so cute..and I must say that your wife 90% looks like my best friend, the nurse "the fabulous cook"..her name is :heart: PUNNEE :heart: ...she married a rich Thai doctor in Edwardsville, Illinios.

Well here.. the photos of a family that might destroy Laos in the past lives...hopefully not :jumping:

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Sariputta ... 20&dir=asc

yawares :jumping:
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Re: Temples and stupas in Laos

Postby Kim OHara » Fri Oct 26, 2012 12:11 am

Part three of the series ... I started with national monuments in Vientiane, continued with an artistically and historically significant wat in Luang Prabang. But how and where do ordinary people worship? This set http://www.flickr.com/photos/50030099@N04/sets/72157631853873022/ shows two local wats in a smallish country town. They are well supported by the local community but don't have the resources of the temples in my earlier photos.
I was a bit surprised to find a spirit house in the grounds of one of them because I expected a bigger separation between Buddhism and animism, at least in the temples.
Most temples I saw in Laos, and many in Northern Thailand, have a group of seven or eight Buddha statues as in my second photo here. Each is in a different pose, and each pose is associated with a particular day of the week. I don't know where the tradition comes from.
These two temples both had many murals depicting episodes from the Buddha's life and teachings. They obviously continue a tradition which began centuries ago and are a way of teaching lay people the stories. These two temples, however, have been built (or rebuilt and redecorated) quite recently (probably as anti-Buddhist policies of the Lao government relaxed in the 1980s and beyond) and the artwork is quite crude and garish to my eyes. Both temples were open on three sides and these murals were on the walls either side of the main altar.
The last two photos in the set show local people at the wat for full-moon day observances. There were far too many people to sit inside so they sat on mats on the ground around the front of the temple. Most of them were there for the whole morning, listening to the monks' chanting and dhamma talks, and giving food to the monks. The atmosphere was lovely - happy, relaxed and calm - and I didn't like to interrupt by playing tourist with my camera. They told me I was welcome to take pictures but I still tried to keep out of the way while doing so.

I spoke to a novice at one of the wats and he told me that there were four monks and seven novices at his temple. He either didn't know how many there were at the other three temples in town, or his English wasn't good enough to tell me. (I'm not blaming him, of course - his English was far better than my Lao!!)

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Re: Temples and stupas in Laos

Postby mikenz66 » Fri Oct 26, 2012 12:40 am

Hi Kim,

Thanks for the great photos!
Kim O'Hara wrote:Most temples I saw in Laos, and many in Northern Thailand, have a group of seven or eight Buddha statues as in my second photo here. Each is in a different pose, and each pose is associated with a particular day of the week. I don't know where the tradition comes from.

I don't know the history of this, but almost every Thai temple of any size has this, so you can make a donation for the day of the week of your birth...
http://www.thaizer.com/buddhism/buddha- ... -the-week/

So it's good to memorise your birthday day if you're travelling about with Thai friends...

There is also a colour for each day: http://www.thaizer.com/culture-shock/th ... every-day/
The current Thai King was born on a Monday, so his colour is yellow...

:anjali:
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Re: Temples and stupas in Laos

Postby Kim OHara » Fri Oct 26, 2012 2:30 am

mikenz66 wrote:Hi Kim,

Thanks for the great photos!
Kim O'Hara wrote:Most temples I saw in Laos, and many in Northern Thailand, have a group of seven or eight Buddha statues as in my second photo here. Each is in a different pose, and each pose is associated with a particular day of the week. I don't know where the tradition comes from.

I don't know the history of this, but almost every Thai temple of any size has this, so you can make a donation for the day of the week of your birth...
http://www.thaizer.com/buddhism/buddha- ... -the-week/

So it's good to memorise your birthday day if you're travelling about with Thai friends...

There is also a colour for each day: http://www.thaizer.com/culture-shock/th ... every-day/
The current Thai King was born on a Monday, so his colour is yellow...

:anjali:
Mike

Thanks, Mike
:namaste:
Kim
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Re: Temples and stupas in Laos

Postby GraemeR » Fri Oct 26, 2012 7:56 am

Kim O'Hara wrote:Part three of the series ... I started with national monuments in Vientiane, continued with an artistically and historically significant wat in Luang Prabang. But how and where do ordinary people worship? This set http://www.flickr.com/photos/50030099@N04/sets/72157631853873022/ shows two local wats in a smallish country town. They are well supported by the local community but don't have the resources of the temples in my earlier photos.
<snip>
:namaste:
Kim


Kim,

How nice, I want to go there, but not go around to it yet, is it hard to travel there?

Graham
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Re: Temples and stupas in Laos

Postby Kim OHara » Fri Oct 26, 2012 11:56 am

GraemeR wrote:Kim,
How nice, I want to go there, but not go around to it yet, is it hard to travel there?

Graham

I don't think you, as someone familiar and comfortable with Thai life, would have any difficulty at all although you need to be prepared for some quite slow travelling by road, at least in the North. The main highway Vientiane - Luang Prabang is quite good but the country is very mountainous and that means steep winding roads. Expect to average less than 60kmh, even on the highway.
Off the highway? Dirt roads, mostly, and pretty rough - but nothing you wouldn't see in rural Thailand or Cambodia.
The people are friendly, and there are enough tourists that a lot of people in shops, restaurants and guest-houses in the main towns have basic English skills.
Go for it!

:namaste:
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Re: Temples and stupas in Laos

Postby appicchato » Fri Oct 26, 2012 7:12 pm

Because you live in Rayong far from Bangkok(8 hrs driving)


More like three (mas o menos)...
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